Monday, February 4, 2013

According to Holy Tradition


 Our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed to His Apostles after His glorious Resurrection: “All authority in heaven and upon earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Sprit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded to you; and behold, I am always with you, even to the close of the age.” (Mat. 28:16-20).

  From common practice we know that three things are absolutely necessary for ordinary baptisms, a priest of the Orthodox Church and proper prayers , plenty of water, the Holy Spirit. These are vital and is a holy tradition of the Church, which we all ought to follow zealously.

Knowing that our Lord spoke the above words directly to His Apostles, who would be better to clarify them than the Apostles who speak through their Canons.

CANON L (50)
“If any Bishop or Priest does not perform three immersions (baptisms) in making one baptism, but only a single immersion (baptism) that given into the death of the Lord, let him be deposed. For the Lord did not say, Baptize into my death, but,“ Go you and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” 
(Matthew 28:19).

St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite explains:


    There are three things quite necessary and in any case altogether indispensable in the mystery of Holy Baptism: sanctified water; triune immersion in the water; and an invocation of each of the most divine Hypostases (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). In the previous 49th Canon the divine Apostles ordered and taught concerning the three invocations, what names we are to be said and in what order. In the present 50th Canon they proceed to ordain concerning the three immersions and emersions. This means, as we have said, that these are necessary as regards what is simply called necessary, and are constituents of true and orthodox baptism.

   Accordingly, without them not only is a baptism incomplete, but it cannot even be called a baptism. For if to baptize means in more familiar language to descend under water, then speaking of immersions in the water is the same thing as speaking of three plunges or baptisms; a descent into water is also called a baptism, and is not so called for any other reason. [The Greek word means “to plunge under water as in dying clothes”]. But let us see what the Apostles decree in regard to the word. Whatever bishop or priest in the single mystery of baptism fails to perform three baptisms, or three immersions, but instead performs only one immersion carried out as though into the one death of the Lord, let him be deposed. (See this Apostolic Canon refuting Eunomius (a bishop of the West deposed 361 A.D., being the first to substitute a single immersion in baptism, though other heretics may have been doing this even in the time of the holy Apostles.) Since the Lord did not tell us, His Apostles, when He was sending us forth to preach, “Baptize you in my death,” but instead He told us, “Go you and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” — which means, of course, baptize them with three immersions and
emersions, and with each immersion add aloud each single name of the Holy Trinity.


“Brethren, do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ, were baptized into His death.  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life.  For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.  We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.  For he who has died is freed from sin.  But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him.  The death He died , he died to sin, once and for all, but the life He lives he lives to God. So you too also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive in god in Christ Jesus.

Orthodox Baptism is the only Baptism nor can there be another, for they are counterfeit, lacking essential requirements, that is, the three immersions, the Orthodox Priest, the grace of the Holy Spirit that sanctifies the water and the mystery.

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